9 May 1814.
I lose no time in transmitting to your Lordship a Copy of a Letter I received last night from Mr Hayne—Whatever may be the result of the present plan, I cannot found my opinion, who the Committee are, or are to be, or anything about them, &, at present know nothing more of, than from Mr Haynes Letter, but I am happy to be at last some disposition to remain on the behalf of the Trade. Much mischief might have been saved originally, had this disposition existed at first—The Trade here are a very disunited Set; Mr Haynes is a very respectable Man & will go on with the Business in London—knowing the Trade here, & their want of Firmness, union, & consistency, nothing should have induced me to have had any thing to do with them, did it not seem to me, that I might thereby be the means of obtaining useful Information & rendering assistance better than I otherwise could; however I shall hope to be honored with yr Lordship's opinion, to know if this plan meets yr Lordships views, & is not likely to interfere in any way therewith, as if it goes on, I shod. wish to have my attention & that of the Committee here directed by your Lordship that We may not do any mischief & be as efficient as the nature of the circumstances will admit—Your lordship may rely upon the utmost Secrecy & confidence on my part, & as no-one will know, that I have communicated with yr Lordship unless your Lordship’s Instructions warrant it—if this Society is to do any good, it must begin well, & not commit blunders at first, & I shod. feel myself much oblig’d by your Lordship’s Sentiments upon the best mode of proceeding, as soon as yr Lordship’s Confidence will admit.
I think that it will require great consideration before the proceedings are too much talked of; it will put the Workmen on their Guard; We ought to strike quietly & talk about it afterwards—
I am [etc],
[To] Lord Sidmouth
This letter can be found at HO 42/139.